Complex Algorithm Auto-Writes Books, Could Transform Science

Mashable: “Could a sophisticated algorithm be the future of science? One innovative economist thinks so.
Phil Parker, who holds a doctorate in business economics from the Wharton School, has built  an algorithm that auto-writes books. Now he’s taking that model and applying it to loftier goals than simply penning periodicals: namely, medicine and forensics. Working with professors and researchers at NYU, Parker is trying to decode complex genetic structures and find cures for diseases. And he’s doing it with the help of man’s real best friend: technology.
Parker’s recipe is a complex computer program that mimics formulaic writing….
Parker’s been at this for years. His formula, originally used for printing, is able to churn out entire books in minutes. It’s similar to the work being done by Narrative Science and StatSheet, except those companies are known for short form auto-writing for newspapers. Parker’s work is much longer, focusing on obscure non-fiction and even poetry.
It’s not creative writing, though, and Parker isn’t interested in introspection, exploring emotion or storytelling. He’s interested in exploiting reproducible patterns — that’s how his algorithm can find, collect and “write” so quickly. And how he can apply that model to other disciplines, like science.
Parker’s method seems to be a success; indeed, his ICON Group International, Inc., has auto-written so many books that Parker has lost count. But this isn’t the holy grail of literature, he insists. Instead, he says, his work is a play on mechanizing processes to create a simple formula. And he thinks that “finding new knowledge structures within data” stretches far beyond print.”